The percentage of current and performing mortgages serviced by large national and federal savings banks improved by more than a percentage point during the first quarter of 2014 the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said today.  At the end of the quarter they made up 93.1 percent of the total portfolio of those institutions compared to 91.8 percent at the end of the fourth quarter and 90.2 percent in the first quarter of 2013.

According to OCC's Mortgage Metrics Report, the percentage of mortgages that were 30 to 59 days past due decreased 19.8 percent from a year earlier to 2.1 percent of the portfolio, the lowest level since the OCC began reporting mortgage performance in 2008.  Mortgages that were 60 or more days past due or 30 days or more if held by homeowners in bankruptcy decreased to 3.1 percent compared with 4.0 percent a year earlier. This is the lowest percentage of seriously delinquent mortgages on the books since June 2008.

There were 432,832 mortgages in foreclosure at the end of the quarter, a decrease of 52.3 percent from a year earlier.  This is 1.8 percent of all outstanding mortgage and again the lowest percentage in nearly six years.  Foreclosure starts during the quarter were 49.1 percent lower than in the first quarter last year at 90,852 and the 56,185 completed foreclosures represented an annual drop of 33.9 percent.   OCC credited improved economic conditions, foreclosure prevention assistance and transfers to servicers not under OCC supervision for the improving distressed loan metrics. 

Servicers implemented 237,133 home retention actions (modifications, trial-period plans, and shorter-term payment plans) in the quarter, a decrease of 32.1 percent from the first quarter of 2013.  Though down significantly, retention actions were still over three times the volume of home forfeiture actions (completed foreclosures, short sales, and deed-in-lieu-of-foreclosure actions) which totaled 71,678.  Almost 91 percent of modifications in the first quarter of 2014 reduced monthly principal and interest payments, and 58.6 percent of modifications reduced payments by 20 percent or more, an average of 292 per month.  Modifications made under the Home Affordable Modification Program reduced monthly payments by an average of $312.

Of over 3.46 million modifications put in place by servicers between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2013, more than 60 percent were still active at the end of the first quarter of this year.  Of these, 69.9 percent were current and performing at quarter end, 23.9 percent were delinquent, and 6.1 percent were in the process of foreclosure.

The mortgages in the portfolio overseen by OCC and included in its report represent about 48 percent of all outstanding mortgages in the country. There are currently about 24.5 million loans with an outstanding principal balance of $4.1 trillion in the U.S.